There are certain mandatory filing fees payable to the Nebraska courts – but the bulk of the costs of divorce are likely to be taken up by the process of negotiating a settlement or going to trial.
The more contentious a divorce is, the more it will likely end up costing you in mediation, arbitration or litigation fees.
Here, though, let’s focus on the official part of filing for a divorce in Nebraska: what does it cost and which forms do you need to file?
Filing for a simple divorce in Nebraska
Divorces without children are generally simpler to process than those that involve children. In the latter case, the best interests of the children must be given precedence over the interests of the parents.
There are more forms to submit and the process can become complex and adversarial.
If you and your partner have no children and can agree on property division, payment of debts and spousal support, there is no reason why your divorce cannot proceed and be completed relatively quickly and without great expense.
Some coupes proceed pro se – which means filing for divorce without an attorney. This is perfectly legal but can cause delays if you run into disputes or conflicts with your ex-spouse when it comes to signing an agreement or if the court questions your divorce agreement.
Before filing for your Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage in Nebraska, understand the basic requirements:
- You or your spouse must be a resident of Nebraska for at least one year before filing with the court.
- If you have been married for less than a year but have been resident of Nebraska for one year or more, the above requirement is met.
Divorce is a legal process. As such, you must complete and file a Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage with the Clerk of the District Court in the county in Nebraska where you or your spouse reside as the first step.
If you hire an attorney, this will be done for you.
If not, make sure that you complete all of the necessary forms. Remember, legal documents must be completed truthfully and accurately and the clerk of the court will not be able to assist you with this.
What forms need to be filed and payments made?
For a simple marriage without children, you may ultimately need the following forms:
- Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage
- Vital Statistics Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage
- Voluntary Appearance (for a spouse who is not served divorce papers)
- Praecipe for Summons (if the Sheriff serves the Summons)
- Notice of Hearing (once you have received a hearing date)
- Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (at the hearing)
When you file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, you will need to pay a fee of $158.00. This is the current fee in Nebraska for filing for divorce.
If you are on a low income and are unable to pay this fee, you may obtain permission from the court to have the fee waived.
At the same time, you should also file the completed Vital Statistics Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage or Annulment form. If you cannot answer all of the questions, write “unknown” in that box on the form. Do not make anything up or lie.
The Clerk of the Court will provide you with a case number after you have filed the forms and paid the fee. You will usually also be given the name of the judge who will be hearing your case. Quote the case number on all subsequent documents filed with the court relating to your case.
After this initial step, there is an entire process to go through before the divorce is finalized.
If you are filing for divorce individually, your spouse must be served papers informing them that you are asking for a divorce. Proof of this must be filed with the court. Your spouse has 30 days to respond. In some uncontested divorces, serving papers is not necessary as the couple file together.
There is a mandatory waiting period of at least 60 days between when your spouse is served papers and a hearing before the judge on your Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage. Contact the bailiff for the judge assigned to your case or Clerk of the Court to schedule your hearing.
Next, file the Notice of Hearing form with the court and send a copy to your spouse. At the hearing, you will need to testify under oath and submit the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
If the judge signs the final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, your divorce will be confirmed after another 30 days.
Need help filing for divorce?
As you can see, while the costs to the court for filing for divorce are relatively minor, the process is quite a long one.
Many couples find that it helps to hire a divorce attorney to ensure that there are no delays and that any disputes don’t turn into full-blown feuds that can lead to a very expensive divorce.
Contact the experienced divorce attorneys at Nebraska Legal Group for a free case evaluation if you need help filing for divorce in Nebraska.